Trump Enters a 3-Month Legal Battle on Fraud Charges


Former US President Donald Trump and his sons face a 3-month civil trial on fraud charges from October to Christmas. New York state courts accuse Trump of "inflating" his assets by billions of dollars between 2011 and 2021.

A New York court judge has ruled that this non-jury trial will commence on October 2nd in Manhattan.

In a statement released on Friday, it was indicated that proceedings will continue until December 22nd, shortly before the first Republican primary elections on January 15th in Iowa.

Donald Trump, who dreams of returning to the White House, is considered the frontrunner in these elections.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled to take place at the end of September.

Before this civil trial, the New York Attorney General (equivalent to a regional Justice Minister) Letitia James referred hundreds of pages of accusatory documents against Donald Trump and his two eldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, to the local Supreme Court on Friday.

This supports the complaint filed by the judge in September 2022, seeking compensation of $250 million from Trump, his sons, and the Trump family, for damages related to tax and financial fraud.

The Attorney General accuses the Republican billionaire and his sons of "intentionally" manipulating valuations of the conglomerate consisting of golf clubs, luxury hotels, and other properties, in order to obtain loans on better terms from banks or to reduce taxes on them.

According to court documents revealed by James on August 30th, it is suspected that Trump "falsely inflated the value of his assets by billions of dollars" every year between 2011 and 2021 - including when he was president from 2017 to 2021.

These discrepancies were estimated to range "from 17% to 39%, or between $812 million and $2.2 billion" each year.

In a new "cautious" estimate released by the prosecutor's office on Friday, exaggerations in valuing Trump's assets vary "between $1.9 billion and $3.6 billion annually".

Trump has repeatedly denounced the case as a "ridiculous" one led by an American judge of African origins, calling it "racist."

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